Bill Wyman


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Even many serious Rolling Stones fans aren't aware that Bill Wyman issued a solo album in the early '90s, as Stuff initially came out only in Japan and Argentina. Like some other Stones projects of the time, it wasn't recorded in a concentrated dose, but pieced together from sessions dating back as far as September 1988. Even had it benefited from a worldwide release, however, it's hard to see how many fans -- of the Rolling Stones or otherwise -- would have taken to the record, for these are largely basic, repetitious funk-disco-dance-based tunes with a dated 1980s synthetic production. Wyman's thin, hoarse vocals don't help, and while it's possible these are intended more as satires of a trendy style or '80s stars like Prince than serious artistic statements, the wit is so mild that any jokes are wont to pass largely unnoticed. "Fear of Flying" at least opts for a more serious and menacing mood, and "Affected by the Towns" for more of a humorous straightforward soul-funk vibe, though those songs aren't anything to crow about. Just one hint of Wyman's '60s classic rock roots is here, on an unexpected cover of Ray Davies' "This Strange Effect" (covered by British star Dave Berry in the mid-'60s), and it says something about the rest of the album that the song is by far the most memorable tune here.

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